Recent Cases from the Civil Litigation Division
These are among cases handled in recent months by the Office of the Attorney General’s Civil Litigation Division:
JOSE LOUIS MALDONADO v. D.C. ET AL 2011-01473
The plaintiff filed a complaint against the District and Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Officers David Hong, Albert Salleh and former MPD Officer Leonard Webb, Jr. asserting claims of excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 of the federal Civil Rights Act, negligent hiring training and retention, battery and false arrest. Plaintiff alleged he was assaulted at the Verizon Center by a group of individuals and that MPD unlawfully arrested him, using excessive force in his arrest and knocking out his tooth. The officers and the District won summary judgment on almost all claims. The only claim the Court allowed to be presented to a jury was the claim of excessive force in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the individual officers. After trial, the jury deliberated for about an hour, returning a quick verdict on October 8 in favor of all the officers. United States District Judge Beryl Howell presided.
Assistant Attorneys General Tony Towns and Shermineh Jones tried the case.
EMYRTLE BENNETT V. D.C. 1:10-cv-01680-BJR
This age discrimination and retaliation case was tried in the U.S. District Court. The plaintiff was a former guidance counselor at Calvin Coolidge High School. The District of Columbia Public Schools terminated her employment through a RIF that occurred in 2009. Ms. Bennett was the oldest of three counselors at the school at the time. Plaintiff argued that the DCPS’ reasons for terminating her employment was pretextual, because she had significantly more experience and training than the other two counselors. Ms. Bennett was in her late fifties at the time and the other two counselors against whom she was competing in the RIF were much younger (one in her 20s and one in her 40s). On November 20, a jury in the court of Judge Barbara Rothstein returned a verdict in favor of the District on all claims.
The District was represented by Assistant Attorneys General Michael Addo and Rick Ferrini.